The following info is for those into technical stuffTV Colour Systems:PAL - NTSC - SECAM this is not an actual tape but how the signal is recorded onto them. For example, America uses NTSC, some European countries like Russia use Secam. Australia, New Zealand & Britain, to mention just a few, use PAL. Unless stated on the box you can’t determine what format a tape is in by looking at it. Normal Play (NP) - Long Play (LP) - Extended Play (EP)Refers to the speed the tape was recorded at. In most cases long play doubles the recording time so if a tape was a 60 min tape it may have up to 120 mins on it. In EP mode its 3 times so 180mins. Quality drops in LP/EP modes and stability of the playback on VCR’s than the one it was recorded in can be a a serious issue. It’s one of the reasons we have VCR’s from Sony Panasonic Sharp JVC Samsung etc. You can’t determine what speed it is recorded at by looking. Only by transferring the entire tape do we know the playing time. LP/EP was not very common but we certainly do get them.Video Resolutions: There are 2 main standards. SD = Standard definition which is what TV had always been in Australia until 2001 when difgital TV began. It is 720 pixels across x 576 pixels high. All VHS Beta Video8 Hi8 Digital8 and almost all Mini DV tapes are SD. Digital TV has now totally replaced analogue TV however a lot of channels are still being transmitted at the old SD resolution just in digital form but slowly this is being phased outAll analogue tape recordingwill have a little line tear at the very bottom of the picture this is usual. TV’s never used to display these very outer edges as they were cropped off. Digital recordings in SD or HD do not have this line tear.The other difference between SD & HD is most video tape recordings were not wide screen they had 4:3 ratio of width to height. Where as Widescreen has a ratio of 16:9the chart above highlights the different aspect ratios.A common question is should I get my video tapes converted to a HD format. The answer is No, the picture was only ever made up of 720 pixels x 576 pixels upsizing it 720P just makes for larger file sizes also 720P is widescreen your videos tapes aren’t. Your Television or computer will resize it for you so there is no point.HD = High Definition is the new higher resolution format for Digital TV and video cameras and comes in various quality levels, these being 720p - 1080i - 1080p & 2160P also known as 4K see the chart above. Fake 4:3 widescreen recording.This was a stupid gimmick that one the camera maker came up with but to keep up most other brands had to follow. It gave the impression that you were making a wide screen recording by literally blanking out some of the top and bottom sections of the recording. Think of putting black tape at the top and bottom of the lense. This looked ok on a 4:3 old TV but now wth all TV’s being widescreen you not only get areas of black on the left & right hand side (normal) of the screen you also get them at the top and bottom.
It can be kind of fixed by zooming in on the picture. However it doesn’t have the resolution to make for a good result so we transfer it as it is. Some Cameras did record in true wide screen, it was called Anamorphic Wide Screen.